From her first song Becky captured the attention of the blues fans in the intimate surroundings of Mugzee's with her powerful guitar licks and her passionate singing. Becky has a strong, rich voice with great range. As she jumps and dances about on stage, moving sensuously with her guitar, and shaking her long hair, there is no doubting her passion for the blues. She played and sang an enthusiastic version of Willie Dixon's "I Just Want to Make Love to You," starting with a long, slow, sultry intro. with her guitar and vocals, eventually building to an emotional climax. She followed this up with some excellent Texas blues originals from her CD, Real Live.
Becky says her original songs are semi-autobiographical, such as "I'm a Little Bit Wild" or "Going Back to Texas." Although after seeing and hearing her live show most fans would says she's more than a little bit wild. Her song lyrics cover relationships and feelings about home with passion and humor. Displaying her soaring vocals, punctuated by powerful, jangling guitar licks, she delights in leading the audience one way and then suddenly changing volume or tempo. As her voice rises several octaves, holding a note, she has a little catch, almost like a brief sigh, where she seems to down-shift to a lower range.
During both her sets Becky played mostly originals with some good covers by B.B. King and others added for spice. Becky is an excellent guitarist, playing in mostly short, powerful riffs, pausing her playing while she sings and eventually building both her guitar licks and vocals to a rousing, mutual climax. Becky even sang for the crowd in French, indicating that there was a lot of Cajun in her background and she had a Grandmother who spoke French.
Becky is a talented musician with an interesting musical resume'. She played with Canned Heat, taking over for Junior Watson on guitar in 1991 and staying with the band into 1992. Becky commented, "Those were some big shoes to fill!" In 1993 Becky played lead guitar for Michael Jackson during his world tour. While Becky is originally from Port Arthur, Texas, she has lived in LA for 16 years and primarily works on cable and movie soundtracks, doing work for The Learning Channel and MTV. She even has a bit part in an upcoming movie. Becky cites Willie Dixon, B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Howling Wolf as her main musical influences.
While stylistically quite different, when Becky is on stage with her guitar screaming, emotionally singing, her long hair covering her face as she shakes and moves, the passion of her performance reminds her fans of another blues singer native to Port Arthur: Janis Joplin. Becky's originals reflect her abilities as a songwriter and arranger. For her Mugzee's show, she was backed by Dave Ziegner on bass and John Kumjian on drums. They are two veteran musicians who provide a solid rhythm backing to Becky's playing and singing.
If you want to see and hear blues played with passionate feeling, be sure to catch Becky the next time she is in town. Becky also appeared at The Narrows June 8th, Brewbaker's June 9th, and at Blues on the Range June 10th.
This review is copyright © 2001 by Richard Benson, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.